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'Bapu didn't coin the word Satyagraha'

Contrary to popular belief, the word that became synonymous with Gandhi wasn't coined by him, says a new book.
None | By Press Trust of India, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 22, 2006 04:44 PM IST

Contrary to popular belief, the word Satyagraha  that became synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi was "not coined by him" but his cousin who helped him decide on a name for his non-violent struggle, a book by a former diplomat claims.

"He (Mahatma Gandhi) offered a prize for an appropriate name for the new non-violent struggle they had decided upon. A cousin, Maganlal Gandhi, suggested Sadagraha  (firmness in good cause). Gandhi amended it to Satyagraha (firm adherence to truth)...," the book, 'Gandhi's Outstanding Leadership', authored by former diplomat Pascal Alan Nazareth, claims.

Releasing the book on the Father of the nation on Tuesday evening, former Prime Minister IK Gujral said Gandhi is more relevant today as he has the capacity to influence our lives.

"World history would have been entirely different today had Gandhi chosen to remain silent after being thrown off on a South African station from a train," he said.

Senior journalist BG Verghese said Gandhi was much ahead of his times and his "vibrant principles" still remain active.

"Schemes like National Rural Employment Guarantee Bill, organic farming, human rights issue are all founded on his principles. Long before the Rural Employment Bill was announced, Gandhiji introduced the concept of khadi  to give work to everyone, so that no hand remained idle. He took up the cause of 'Harijans' and the downtrodden classes, much before human rights became a global issue," Verghese said.

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